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Hill and Knowlton knows (the value of) knowledge

Public relations is all about sharing information. So it is no surprise that international PR firm Hill And Knowlton understands the importance of a rich collaborative environment. That's why the company has implemented HK.net, a secure extranet for linking more than 1,700 of the firm's staff and clients, which include such corporate giants as Procter & Gamble and Compaq.

HK.net creates a business-to-business virtual work environment that provides a single point for finding, collecting, posting, tracking and reusing knowledge that is specific to their projects.

Hill and Knowlton, which is based in New York but has 64 offices in 34 countries, uses HK.net to access, understand and reuse critical business data from a variety of sources, including desktop and enterprise applications. Staff and clients can enter and share project status, press documents for review, target media lists and other materials central to everyday activities. In addition, the system automatically pulls information from designated Web sites and alerts staff immediately to important business news relevant to client accounts.

Hill and Knowlton chose the system because it permits users "to connect relevant information and resources with anyone who needs it," says Mark Thorne, the firm's COO. "The collaborative services and tight integration with e-mail allow our consultants and clients to naturally share project information and research without having to change their everyday work practices."

The software that serves as the foundation for HK.net is Intraspect Intraspect (IKS), which integrates with existing Hill and Knowlton systems and is accessed through a secure Web interface.

"Intraspect lets us leverage data and increase the ROI of existing enterprise applications, such as e-mail," says Ted Graham, worldwide director of knowledge management services at Hill and Knowlton. "The technology also is vital in helping us raise the standard of services we deliver to our clients. With Intraspect, we can successfully coordinate multinational PR programs, respond quickly to time-sensitive industry events and have a readily accessible repository for bringing new staff up to speed."

According to Elizabeth Murray, Intraspect's VP of marketing, "Hill and Knowlton's investment in collaborative B2B solutions underscores the importance of capturing valuable employee and company knowledge, and then making that information actionable.

"As we continually hear from customers, one-way corporate portal and knowledge management solutions are not sufficient. What's needed is a collaborative environment that connects project teams worldwide with timely, relevant information sources."


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